Wisal – A Symposium on Cross-Cultural Collaboration

When 4 Dec 2017
8:30AM - 5:30PM
Where Hammer Auditorium
Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, 500 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Please join us on December 4, 2017, for Wisal – A Symposium on Cross-Cultural Collaboration examining the concept of collaboration and how it has existed in cultural practice both in Saudi Arabia and beyond. This one-day symposium will focus on grassroots, national, and transnational collaborations both in the United States and in Saudi Arabia with a concentration on the Bridges Program, an initiative by King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). The aim is to discuss different examples of the transformative ways art and creativity can be a catalyst for cross-cultural understanding and to effect meaningful change in communities. It will also act as a platform for future cross-cultural collaborations and act as a catalyst for such work.

Please RSVP by December 1, 2017

Speakers and Panelist Include: Yusef Alahmad, Asad Ali-Jafri, Noor Daham, Basmah Felemban, Abdulrahman Gazzaz, Joseph Kunkel, Ahmed Mater, Michael Mogensen, Carmen Montoya, David Scanavino, Kate Seelye, Anne Senstad, Sanjit Sethi, Allison Smith, Caroline Woolard

Symposium Schedule

8.30 am – Introduction by Sanjit Sethi, Director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University
Location: Hammer Auditorium

9.30 am – Opening Remarks – Kate Seelye, Senior Vice President of the Middle East Institute
Location: Hammer Auditorium

10:00 am – Creativity, Collaboration and Environment Presentation by Joseph Kunkel, William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor in Community Engagement
Location: Hammer Auditorium

Description: William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement Joseph Kunkel will present on the groundbreaking work he and fellow collaborators are pursuing in Native American communities that address issues around public housing and cultural sustainability with implications for indigenous communities globally.

10.30 am – Breakout Session #1: Developing the First World

Location: Room 111

Panelists: Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Spatial Practices at the Corcoran Carmen Montoya and Asad Ali-Jafri of Ghana Think Tank

Description: This session will focus on two projects by the Ghana ThinkTank: the Mobile Mosque and American Riad. Presenters will share the process which sets up collaborative laboratories in so-called “developing countries” to help solve “first-world problems.” The process is a way to explore the friction caused by solutions that are generated in one context and applied elsewhere, while revealing the hidden assumptions that govern cross-cultural interactions.

Breakout Session #2: Reviving Communities

Location: Room 103

Panelists: Abdulrahman Gazzaz and Anne Senstad

Description: A discussion on the interventions of artists on local communities and the built environment. The panel will discuss two collaborative projects by US based artists within communities in Saudi Arabia as part of Ithra’s “Bridges” Tour. These two projects are: “AL BALAD” a socially engaged project by Matthew Mazzotta working with Abdulrahman Gazzaz and collaborating with the local community in the old town of Jeddah, and “TIME BEYOND PLACE,” a cross-cultural platform developed by New York based artist, Anne Senstad, to highlight issues of interpretation, preservation, heritage and memory in the Asir region of Southwestern Saudi Arabia.

12.00 pm – Lunch from Foodhini with a Special Presentation by Foodhini Founder Noobstaa Vang
Location: Atrium

1.00 pm – Social Interventions
Location: Hammer Auditorium

Panelist: Yusef Alahmad, Caroline Woolard and Michael Mogensen

Description: This panel will explore three timely collaborative projects which address social and environmental activism and the impact that these projects have had on local communities.

2.30 pm – Coffee break
Location: Atrium

3.00 pm – Academe
Location: Hammer Auditorium

Panelists: David Scanavino, Ahmed Mater, Basmah Felemban, Nada Farhat and Allison Smith

Description: What role do educational institutions play in supporting collaborations that exist in a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural framework? What challenges do educators face within creative communities where there still remains a predominate focus on individual practice? How do large academic institutions create pathways for professors to establish relationships to promote cross- cultural learning models?

4.30 pm – Transnational Cultural Collaborations
Location: Hammer Auditorium

Description: A conversation with Sanjit Sethi and Noor Daham regarding topics discussed in the symposium and the future of transnational cultural collaborations.

5.30 – 7 pm – Reception

Photo courtesy of the organizer/s.

For more information, please click here.